Tag Archives: Paranormal romance

wolf marked harper a brooks

Book Review: Wolf Marked, by Harper A. Brooks

Here we are at last, reviewing the last Wolf Marked book in my Wolf Marked reading challenge. As a reminder, three different books titled Wolf Marked were promoed on Sadie’s Spotlight fairly close together.

wolf marked calendar

I was so amused by this that I decided to read and review all three. The whole thing took a little longer than I usually like challenges to, because I had to wait for the last Wolf Marked (this one by Harper A. Brooks) to actually become available. In fact, it doesn’t actually comes out until the end of this week. I got to it a little early as a for-review ARC through Lady Amber’s Reviews & PR.

Wolf-Marked harper brooks

The cycle of the moon can bring love… or death.

Time is running out for Astrid. If the wolf-shifter doesn’t find her soul’s mate before her twenty-fifth Blue Moon rises, the consequences will be fatal. With only three weeks left, things aren’t looking good… until Erec, a smooth-talking rogue wolf, lands at her feet.

The strange spark between them leaves Astrid wondering if this mysterious man could be the one meant to break her curse. But can she trust him?

From the moment Jerrick killed the only man Erec ever looked up to, Erec vowed to stop the crazed wolf. Partnering with the west-side pack seemed the logical move to accomplish that goal. But he never expected to fall for the alpha’s beautiful daughter, and now this lone wolf is wondering if she could be the one to save him from the curse.

With imminent dangers looming and the swirling patterns on their skin marking them for death, can Astrid and Erec save the west-side pack from the encroaching pack before their last Blue Moon rises in the sky?

my review

This wasn’t bad, if you like the kind of thing. I acknowledge that it’s competently written and edited and has a great cover. But I was only so-so on the book for personal preferences kind of reasons. Mostly, I consider a lot of the plot components low-hanging fruit in the storytelling department.

If you’re going to design a whole new fantasy world, but populate it with all the same mores, biases, and social norms as the real world, I consider it kind of lazy. And that’s what Brooks does here. One of primary tensions of the book is a woman who is always struggling to exist outside of men’s protective shadows. She’s considered amazing because she excels at some skills considered male. She (and other women eventually) want to prove themselves, so she convinces leadership to let women participate in some previously male-only activities and show themselves to be competent and useful. (There is no acknowledgement of the importance of female skills, only that women are equal because they too can do the things men do. But that’s another issue all together.)

Similarly, you see the big reveal (twist) coming about a mile off. It’s another plot device that’s frequently used. Having said all of that, both are tied into Brooks’ plot nicely and aren’t even overly ham-fisted. So, if you like this sort of story, I imagine you’ll like this one. It’s not badly done. It’s just been done and done and done again.

I will grant that Brooks’ claim “each book in the Shifters Unleashed series can be read as a standalone,” is proved true. I always distrust being told a book in a series can be read as a stand-alone. I’ve been burned so many times. But here it is 100% true. Other than sharing one origin myth, Wolf Marked and Tiger Claimed (which I also reviewed) have zero cross-over. They truly can be read as stand-alone books. I think whether you choose to and how much you’ll enjoy them will truly come down to a matter personal preferences.

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wolf untamed banner

Book Review: Wolf Untamed, by Alexis Calder

Wolf Untamed is book two of the Moon Cursed series, the first of which is called Wolf Marked. I read it as part of my Wolf Marked reading challenge.

I accepted a copy of Wolf Untamed from Amber at Lady Amber’s Reviews & PR at the same time that  I requested one of the Wolf Marked books for that reading challenge from her. Oddly enough, it wasn’t the Alexis Calder Wolf Marked that I went to Amber for, as I’d already bought a copy, it was the Harper A. Brooks one (because it wasn’t released yet). But when I told her I was going to do a Wolf Marked challenge, including Calder’s Wolf Marked, she mentioned that she had book two of the Moon Cursed series coming available soon. So, I accepted, though I didn’t receive it in time to read and review it and Wolf Marked at the same time. So, they’re getting separate posts.

If you want to see my review of Book one of the Moon Cursed series, Wolf Marked, it is here:

Book Review: Wolf Marked, by Alexis Calder

Man, it gets really confusing to talk about several books with the same title. And probably no one else is all that interested in the minutia. But I think it’s all the round aboutness of getting books with the same name, but from different series, from the same source really ironically funny. I accept it’s probably just me,

Wolf Untamed

You can only trust yourself.

They say it’s more dangerous being a lone wolf. I say having friends isn’t worth the pain. Everyone I’ve ever known has betrayed me. You’d think by now, I’d learn not to trust anyone.

My old pack wants me dead. My true mate wants to complete the bond. My inner wolf is a no-show. The decks are stacked against me and if I survive this, I have no idea where to go next.

I’m out of tricks and out of allies but there’s one path I haven’t tried: finding out about my father. My mom warned me against him but at this point, how can my life get any worse?

my review

I’m still interested in how this series progresses and ends. I still like Lola. In fact, I probably like her more as she’s starting to strengthen up. I like her found family. And the writing is quite readable (minus a few editing mishaps). But I’m kind of losing my patience with the serial nature of it all.

I went into the series knowing the books end on cliffhangers and are not stand alone. So, I can’t complain about that. But this book is only 156 pages long. The first was only 232. One can’t imagine the next (which I think is the last, though I’m not sure why I think that, so I could be wrong) being much longer. I just don’t see any reason for this story to be broken into 3 books. And you can really feel that here in book two. It feels like the middle of a book—not the middle of a series, the middle of a book.

And while book one was about werewolves, here we suddenly have goblins, and fae, and vampires, and witches thrown at us. Though all but the last are merely mentioned, not integral to the story. So, we get hints of a bigger world. But it feels random and out of place showing up in book two, without mention of any of it in book one.

Despite having said all that, I am still curious where it’ll go. So, I’ll be on the hook to read book three.

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edge of the woods

Book Review: Edge of the Woods, by Jules Kelley

I received a copy of Jules Kelley‘s Edge of the Woods through Netgalley.

edge of the woods jules kelley

There’s something wrong in Pine Grove, Montana, and its bite is vicious.

Haley Fern has been the alpha of her local werewolf pack for less than a year when their law enforcement liaison retires, and Leland Sommers, a man who knows nothing about werewolves or their world, is hired in his place. What could be an awkward situation turns complicated when the man shows up his first day on the job with an injured teenage boy he found on the road–a boy Haley knows has just been bitten.

But discovering who bit the kid isn’t as easy as it seems, especially with Leland asking questions and looking at Haley the way he does.

Can the alpha figure out who is attacking innocent people on her wildlife preserve and protect her pack? Or will the new sheriff and her growing attraction to him put her entire world in danger?

my review

This was a squishy, feel good read. It’s chocked full of diversity, has two sweet cinnamon bun leads, and a mild background mystery. But it’s the fact that the mystery is in the background that leads me to have not loved it more than I did. (I liked it plenty though.) Haley and the deputy are both lovely and they are genuinely careful with each-other in a really heart-warming way. There is no toxicity here. But I’m afraid that’s just not enough to carry a werewolf novel on it’s own. I needed a little more action, a little more bite, so to speak. I do look forward to seeing where the series goes and would be more than happy to read book two

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Other Reviews:

Caitlyn Lynch Reviews

Edge of the Woods – Jules Kelley